January 23, 2009
You may not need an expensive addition to expand your space. Increase your usable square footage with these ideas:
Renovate your basement or attic. Finishing unused areas in your home is the best way to increase livable space and add value. Create a play room, a home theatre, extra bedrooms, or an office, and consider adding a bathroom.
Use common condo elements. Your unit may be small, but you can live large. Hang out by the pool, meet friends in the billiards room, bring your laptop to the lounge, host an event in the party room, or serve dinner in the rooftop garden.
Rethink it. Work underutilized space to your advantage. Would your dining room be more workable as a home office? Use part of your hall closet for extra linens or pantry items. That unused bedroom could be a sizable walk-in closet.
Rearrange furniture. Place furniture to optimize the function and flow of your room. Remove bulky, crowding pieces and invest in low, sleek furnishings for a clean, uncluttered sightline.
Hide it. Avoid clutter and add space with storage solutions for closets, drawers, cupboards, under beds and behind doors. Specialty storage pieces are available for everything from your holiday décor to your iron and ironing board.
Make it look bigger. Create the illusion of space with light paint colours, uniform flooring, ample lighting, and minimal furniture and décor items. Strategically place large mirrors to reflect more space and light.
Go outside. Create distinctive outdoor rooms on your balcony or in your yard. Use weather-resistant furniture, screens, curtains, carpets, lighting and landscaping features to create areas for dining, lounging and entertaining.
Look up. If your ceilings are high enough, build more living space above your head. Create a funky new bedroom, an enchanting play space, a hidden storage area, or an unobtrusive office without major structural changes.
Open up. Older homes can be warrens of tiny rooms and cramped hallways. Remove non-load bearing walls to create a more open, usable space. Your new floor plan will be more airy and inviting.